What type of wire should I use?

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by Swamp_Thang, Sep 24, 2021.

  1. Swamp_Thang

    Swamp_Thang Strat-Talker

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    I am rewiring my Squier VM. I already have a CRL switch and have ordered some pots.

    What type of wire do I need? I have read that 22awg or 24awg is recommended. Do I need any specific type of wire, like tinned copper?
     
  2. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    Conductive wire.

    Seriously though. It reality doesn't matter what wire you use a long as you don't burn it up with the soldering iron. I normally use habit push back wire but that's only by choice. As long as you don't tell anyone what's under the hood they will never know.
    The electrons really don't care what kind or size wire you use, what pots you use, what switch or what jack. Just so long as they are put in correctly, complete the circuit and won't be too big to fit in the cavities.
     
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  3. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

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    Use 24 awg or the slightly thicker 22 awg, it really doesn't matter, multi-strand.

    But make sure is copper, tinned or not, and avoid aluminum wire like the plague. Tinned copper comes with microscopically thin, um, tin, on the strands, which helps soldering. But regular not tinned copper will solder just as well, really. Aluminum wire, copper plated or not, is a PITA to solder.

    The next question is what it's covered with. PVC is cheapest, but it's easy to melt or burn the PVC. Cloth covered wire lets you pull back the insulation during soldering, but it's bulky. You also have to do a bit of searching for anything beyond black, white, and yellow.
     
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  4. Swamp_Thang

    Swamp_Thang Strat-Talker

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    I don't care how it looks or if it's "vintage". As long as it sounds good. I don't plan on opening it up again once I'm finished.
     
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  5. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

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    In that case there's a six pack of colors on Amazon for about 15 bucks. PVC coated though.

    LotFancy 22AWG Stranded Wire, 6 Colors (30 Feet Each) Electrical Wire, Tinned Copper Hookup Wire Kit 22 Gauge 300V for DIY, Flexible, PVC insulated, U https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q3G1VG2/?tag=strattalk05-20
     
  6. Swamp_Thang

    Swamp_Thang Strat-Talker

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    I bought 24awg tinned copper wire with PVC insulation. Hopefully that will work okay.
     
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  7. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    I like the vintage style cloth pushback wire.
    It is very forgiving of poor soldering skills because the insulation won't melt.

    And it looks cool.

    Do not use the vintage style wire with the braided shield cover on a Fender without putting heat shrink over it. That bare grounded braid has a habit of "finding" switch and pot terminals in a Strat body.

    SG-Cavity.jpg
     
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  8. ThreeChordWonder

    ThreeChordWonder Senior Stratmaster

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    Me neither.

    Besides which, with my soldering usually looking like scrambled eggs...
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    Use shielded cable from the volume pot to the output jack. About 50% of the guitar idle noise is from that unshielded pair of wires typically used there and twisting the pair does nothing but look snazzy for Instagram photos. You want shielded cable there just like you want shielded cable from the guitar to the amp.

    Scrounge old RCA hookup patch cables you may have around for a stereo system/VCR/whatever. Or buy shielded cable when getting the other wire you want.

    If you want better looking soldering: put solder on the end of the wire, put solder on the pot or switch lug, put the wire to the lug and add a little solder to transfer heat faster, then hold them together with a pencil/wood stick until cool. This way you don't burn up pots, switches, or wiring.

    .
     
  10. Slacker G

    Slacker G Strat-O-Master

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    I use flexible 22ga multi stranded wire with nice different colored coatings so that if anyone sees the pretty wiring they will be overcome with joy.
     
  11. CB91710

    CB91710 No GAS shortage here Double Platinum Supporting Member

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    Absolutely untrue.
    Twisted pair is used in telecommunications all over the world because it rejects noise.
    I can and do shoot a 9600 baud comm line 4 miles over unshielded twisted pair with no problem for traffic signal communications.
    I've run analog video over twisted pair 1/2 mile between repeaters.
    The network cable coming out of the back of your computer is twisted pair... and likely unshielded.

    Twisted pair is absolutely acceptable for the little 3" run from the volume pot to the jack.
    You've got 3 unshielded pickups with a mile of wire on them.
     
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  12. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Most Honored Senior Member

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    I really like pre-tinned. PVC and push back cloth have advantages / disadvantages. Think all I have used is 22 AWG.
     
  13. Bob Spumoni

    Bob Spumoni Senior Stratmaster

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    The tinned stuff is easier to work with in every way. No fraying, and it sucks up that solder like a little sump pump. I guess I use 22-gauge. I bought a bunch from Mojotone, I think it was.
     
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  14. StratoMutt

    StratoMutt Most Honored Senior Member

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    Same. They say all of their wire is US made which is a plus.
     
  15. bam-boozle

    bam-boozle Strat-Talk Member

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    Wire is wire my man but 22 gauge cloth pushback with no hesitation lol. Doesn’t make a lick of difference but looks good
     
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  16. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Strat-O-Master

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    It’s a strat!

    Cloth wire, and it should look vintage.
    And it should look neat.

    if you are going to do something, do it right the first time. take some time to think out the layout, look how neat the old fenders were done in the 50s. I do my best to wire like they did.

    Also cloth wire does not melt.
    It is way more easy to cut and push back, vrs even using auto wire strippers.

    just because you will not see it, does not mean you should not take pride in the work you do, and do your best at it.

    just my opinion.
     

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  17. Mikeylefty

    Mikeylefty Be Kind Silver Member

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    I use cloth wire. But on a recent wiring, with the guitar amped up, I noticed that if i pitched a cloth hot wire It made a hum as I assume it detects ground from my fingers. Made me wonder if I should take better care to keep those wires (though cloth covered) from touching grounded areas or twisted with grounds.
     
  18. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    I like to use the braided shield wire on all of my Fender type builds. Only from the volume pot to the jack though. The rest get the normal wiring. The main reason isn't for the shielding as much as it is because it is just easier to push it through the tunnel easier than it is to push two wires.
     
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  19. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Strat-O-Master

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    Another self proclaimed world class strat wiring, just completed.

    on celluloid fire stripe.

    Use cloth man!
     

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